I started last week at a literary agency reading query letters, requesting samples, and other miscellany.
I’ve interned at a literary agency before so none of this is new to me. What has changed is the amount of queries sent via email. When I did this five years ago, it was all paper, sent snail mail. I sent out A lot of letters. It has not changed that much, though. Seems like the older the writer is, the more likely he/she is going to send a SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope). Do you know how much paper is being wasted just to reject you? Seriously. Get an email address that works (who the frak uses aol anymore? I don’t know anyone who does) and have us email you, please.
As for the queries, I expected a lot more badly written ones but the writers are getting in the know; their queries are pretty decently written. However, today, I read a query that starts punchy, like a pitch (essentially what each query is) and then he ends it with his name and a dash like this:
Really? This isn’t a letter to your friend, it’s to a literary agent!! I didn’t reject the query but that put me off immediately. And then I saw a few with typos like, lacking a comma after the agent’s name like this:
Whoa. Get it together writers. This will not do. Maybe I’m the finicky one because at the end of the day, an editor looks over your manuscript but still, make it Perfect!
What has this experience taught me? Well, I’m not done yet. I’ll be interning here for awhile. I guess, it’s a kick in my behind to get cracking!
“Til next entry!